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Canada to Fund Development of Genomics-based Rapid E. coli Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A group of Canadian research organizations will jointly provide C$1 million (US$997,000) for research and development of a genomics-based test that can identify pathogenic E. coli bacteria found in the food production process, Genome Alberta said today.

The goal of the new program is to fund one or two projects led by Canadian researchers seeking to develop a test for E. coli based on a genomic detection method that will be rapid – the current turnaround time is around 10 hours — sensitive, specific, affordable, and usable in the field.

The funding for the project includes C$500,000 from Genome Alberta on behalf of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, C$250,000 from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, C$250,000 from Genome Canada, and additional support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

"This applied research initiative will demonstrate how new genomics-based technologies can be used to help detect pathogens in meat production and food processing," David Bailey, CEO of Genome Alberta, said in a statement.

Although research teams funded by the Program on Research and Innovation Leading to Rapid Detection of Pathogenic E. coli will be led by investigators at Canadian institutions, these investigators may partner with experts from elsewhere.